Jane Golden’s Favorite Philadelphian Is Ed Bacon

The Mural Arts Program founder talks sushi, snakes, and more.

My name is … Jane Golden. When I was young, I didn’t really like the name, because of that book about Dick and Jane. And there’s Tarzan and Jane. My mom was an artist, and I always thought, Where was her creativity?

I grew up … in Margate. I loved surfing. That was my real love. I surfed until I was 12, when I went into some waves that were too big for me and broke my jaw on the board. That was the end of my surfing days.

I dreamed of one day becoming … a spy. I had a very active spy club when I was little.

The thing people don’t understand about my job … is that it’s deceptively complex. It’s not just paint on the walls. It’s about coming together to create something that can be catalytic.

To people who say our murals are ugly … I say that everyone is entitled to a point of view. I actually don’t love all the murals. And that’s okay. I’m glad the city is filled with things I like and don’t like. That’s the nuance of living in an urban center.

If I were mayor … I would make sure every school had arts and music.

My secret food craving is … cookies from 4th Street Deli. They’re delicious. Especially peanut butter.

The best thing on TV is … The Daily Show. Jon Stewart reminds me of my brother.

I am deathly afraid of … snakes. So much so that I buried the “S” encyclopedia in the backyard when I was a child.

Next month’s election … is so important to the direction this country will take. I am fed up and sick of divisiveness. It’s a sad commentary on the state of our country.

If you want to buy me dinner … take me to Osteria. The food is delicious, and I like Marc Vetri. I admire people who are charitable.

My favorite painting is … Nighthawks, by Edward Hopper. Second is Sacco and Vanzetti, by Ben Shahn. My parents were big fans of the WPA, and they would always show me paintings from WPA artists.

When I was 12 years old … I was pretty unhappy, the tallest kid in class, a bookworm. All the girls were blond with straight hair. Mine was curly.

My friends are always telling me … that I should work less, relax more, and take care of myself. They worry because I have lupus, and they know that I’m a non-compliant patient.

For my first job …I was a counselor at a day camp in Margate. I led a hike, and we got lost and had to be rescued by state troopers.

Every night before I go to sleep … I have to read a little bit. I can’t go to sleep without doing it. And then I say a little prayer. I say I’m thankful for my family, the work, and I say a few words to my mom and my husband’s mom, both of whom passed away about a year and a half ago.

If I could trade places with a famous person for a day, it would be … Hillary Clinton.

On the average Friday night, you’ll find me … at the gym and then home eating sushi with my husband. There’s a great little place down the street from us at the corner of 22nd and Brandywine, Umai Umai.

My favorite Philadelphian of all time is … Ed Bacon. He had the courage of his convictions and went forward with them.